Everything You Need for Content Optimisation in One Checklist
There’s a saying online: “Where’s the best place to hide a body? On the second page of Google.”
If your website isn’t on the first page of the search results, well, you’re as good as dead.
Follow Our Content Optimisation Checklist, and you’re sure to rank on the first page – and within the living.
What IS Content Optimisation?
The words may sound complicated or technical, but the basic idea of content optimisation is easy: make anything you add to your site easily accessible, high-quality, easy-to-read, and able to reach as many people as possible.
Here, we go through each step of the checklist, so you understand exactly what you need to do to optimise the pants off your site (maybe we should have said “pixels?”).
Content Optimisation Core Practices
1) Don’t Slack on the Title
A good title can make you read just about anything (for example, “Headless Body in Topless Bar”).
Remember to include your target keyword in the title!
You could read an article titled “Creating a Good Title,” or you could read one titled “Creating Titles That Make Your Readers Want to Binge Your Blog.” Up to you.
2) Use Descending Headings
Headings make the text easier to understand and navigate. I don’t know about you, but there are loads of articles that I’ve scrolled through to find the right heading, get the info I need, and move on.
H1 headings are for the main title, H2 for headings, H3 for subheadings under the H2 headings, and so on.
SERP’s like headings, too. They add structure and make it easier for algorithms to get the data they need. Just use headings and subheadings, okay?
3) Make URLs with Focus Keywords
Optimise your URL by including keywords and making it simple. Take out any unnecessary numbers or words.
Don’t use dates in your URLs (www.technews.com/BestSmartWatches2021, for instance). Instead, keep the keywords and reuse the same URL later for something like Best Smart Watches for Seniors or Best Smart Watches of 2022. You get my point.
For ultimate URL optimization, include keywords in your URL, keep it short, and remove unnecessary numbers and stop words.
Here’s a good, simple URL structure:
4) Focus Keyword and Secondary Keywords
People want to know that they aren’t wasting their time on your webpage. Include the focus keyword within the first 100 words, so your visitors know they’ve come to the right place.
Research to find a focus keyword and 2-3 secondary keywords. Use the focus keyword at least 3 times and the secondary keywords 2-3 times each.
Don’t overuse your keywords in the rest of your page! Google sees this as “keyword stuffing” and will ding you for it.
5) Use White Space
Don’t bunch up all your words – white space makes the page look clean and neat. Keep a good balance, though, as you don’t want your page to look too empty. Add a space after every paragraph.
6) Test Page Loading Speed
No one wants to sit and wait forever for a page to load. Your tolerance for a page’s loading speed is directly linked to your interest in the service or product offered. Pretty sure that’s a fact.
Test your page loading speed and make it as fast as possible. Seconds matter. Milliseconds matter.
7) Link Out (and In!)
Google sees backlinks as “votes of confidence.” Google prioritizes high-quality links, like .gov, .edu, and .org, so choose these backlinks over others.
Link content to your site that is reputable, useful, and interesting. Not only do SERPs like this, so do humans.
Don’t forget to include links to other pages on your website (referred to as internal linking). Your pages are a perfect place to promote the rest of your site.
8) Be Mobile-friendly
Over 54% of worldwide website traffic comes from mobile devices, and that number is only increasing. If someone is trying to visit your site on a mobile device and can’t get to it, chances are they won’t try to go back later.
Make your site mobile-friendly, so any user can reach it, no matter what device they’re using.
9) Imagery Idealism
Images, videos, GIFs – all that – keep the reader engaged. Include at least one image per 1,000 words.
However, the size of images affects your website’s load speed, which disturbs your ranking signal. Make sure to compress images, provide Alt Text, and lazy-load images to optimise imagery on your site.
Use popups only when absolutely necessary – they annoy your visitors and lower your search ranking.
10) Provide Unique Content
Keep your content one of a kind. Search engines won’t see much value in websites with duplicate content. Fill your site with lots of unique, helpful, quality content.
11) Embrace Social Media Sharing
Include buttons to easily share your content on social media. Make your content shareable and encourage visitors to share it, especially if they think it’s funny or might help others!
12) Optimal Word Count
There isn’t an exact formula for word count, but the average is 1400 words. Depending on the purpose of your page, your content may need to be shorter or longer.
Studies found that search intent (aka user intent) affects the optimal word count.
Types of Search Intent:
· Informational – User is looking for information (they aren’t necessarily looking for a long article – just enough to cover what they want to know).
· Navigational – The user is looking for a specific website or app (they know where they want to go, they just need to get there).
· Commercial – The user is looking for a specific product but hasn’t decided to buy yet (they’re looking for information on a product, so articles should be long enough to include all the details but not overwhelm the reader).
· Transactional – The user is looking to buy a specific product (they know what they need, they’re just looking for a place to buy it).
13) Google’s Crawl Bot
Arguably the most important aspect of content optimisation, Google’s crawl bot (Googlebot) “crawls” through your site to collect documents to store in a searchable index. If your site isn’t set up right, Googlebot might just block you (and all your hard work will be for nothing).
Avoid Crawl Bot Blocking by ensuring:
· There are enough internal links (2-3 is good)
· There are no broken links
· You have a clear sitemap.xml
· Check for “noindex” meta tags
14) Title and Heading Tags
Dust off your Myspace skills! Title and heading tags work wonders for Googlebot crawlability, readability, and general awesomeness. It may look like a lot in HTML form, but it’s worth it for the benefits.
<H3>Subheading of Heading 1</H3>
<H2> Heading 2</H2>
<H3>Subheading of Heading 2</H3>
<H4>Subheading of Heading 3</H4>
15) Meta Descriptions and Snippets
Meta descriptions describe the content of your page for users and search engines. They help summarize your page’s content and attract users to your site.
Snippets are a section of a page that the search engine features (instead of the meta description, for example). They are usually the first or most relevant paragraph from the page and sometimes include an image.
Check it Out
Until then, use our handy dandy Optimisation Checklist and never worry if your website is a corpse on the second page of Google again.
CONTENT OPTIMISATION CHECKLIST
- Tremendous title
- More than 300 words; right length for search intent
- Compress imagery, add Alt Text
- Reputable, helpful links
- Space after every paragraph
- Shareable on Socials
- Unique; No duplications
- Focus keyword (at least 3x) and secondary keywords (2-3x each)
- Focus keyword in title and at least one subheading
- Title and heading tags (<H1>, <H2>, <H3>, etc.)
- Fast page speed
- Simple URL with focus keyword
- Meta description and snippets
- Googlebot approved
- Internal links (2-3)
- No broken links
- Clear sitemap.xml
- Noindex tags